What is shotgun fit? Why does it matter?

Some key measurements for shotgun fitting
Some key measurements for shotgun fitting. Image from A Guide to Starting Shooting in the UK

While there are lots of aspects of doubles guys love to argue about–from the perfect overall chokes and shot size to whether OUs or SxSs are better–just about everyone agrees shotgun has fit you if you’re going to shoot it well.

But what does “fit you” mean? In What is Shotgun Fit – Sporting Clays Tip, the National Shooting Sports Foundation does a great job of explaining the basics.

Why fit matters…

I never used to worry about how my shotguns fit.  I shot basic, American shotguns most my life — mostly Remington pumps, plus a double-barrel Savage/Fox Model B. These were off-the-rack guns with standard dimensions – a 14″ length-of-pull with 2 1/2″ – 2 3/4″ of drop.

It was until I became serious about side-by-sides and bought some classic America doubles that I started to pay attention to stock length and drop. Now fit is one of the first things I look at when considering a gun. Afterall, no matter how nice a side-by-side is, it’s not worth much to me if I can’t shoot it well (or at least OK).

Check out this little video for an quick explanation of why fit matters: